How To Become A Psychologist
To practice as a psychologist, you must complete the licensure process. Before becoming licensed, youll need to earn a degree.
Here are the basics steps youll need to follow to work in this rewarding field:
How Do You Guys Justify Psychology As A Reputable Science To Other Stem Majors Who Think Its Bs
I have a friend who is a physics/mathematics double major and he believes that Psychology is incredibly inaccurate and is not a very reputable science. He believes this because he says the acceptable margin of error on psychology studies is very large compared to studies in other fields.
He doesnt necessarily think psychology as a science is BS, but he is very skeptical about the science. He also has a VERY mathematical way of looking at the world and its hard for me to explain how psychology is a bit more nuanced and complex.
I found myself stumped when talking to him about this and I didnt have a good argument. Im posting this not only so I have a good argument, but more importantly I thought it might help me learn more about my field.
Have you guys dealt with stuff like this? How do you explain the study of psychology to people who are skeptical about it?
Edit: Wow! Thank you guys for all the incredible responses. I wasnt expecting this big of a response but reading through all your comments has really helped me learn a LOT!
Reasons Psychology Is A Science
The debate rages on – psychology: science art or pseudoscience? Despite the field of psychology ever-increasingly gaining recognition as a Science-Technology-Engineering-Mathematics discipline, some commentators still claim therapeutic methods do not hold up to scrutiny, and that social topics such as creativity and self-esteem are too subjective for accurate scientific study. So what holds it back?
In other portions of the scientific spectrum chemistry and physics, for example emerging theories enhance or support each other. In psychology, however, theories often contradict or compete with one another, struggling to sufficiently convince or satisfy those working in the field. Events such as this prevent psychology from being ranked amongst the hard sciences, with some even considering it a belief system akin to religion.
Reasons for this often relate to empiric proof, and inconsistent results: two reacting chemicals will always behave in the same manner, however human decisions cannot be accurately predicted when presented with choice the evolutionary instinct of fight or flight being a key example.
Whilst human behaviour cannot be fully and conclusively predicted in each environment, situation or individual, there are strong, general trends which often relate to our evolutionary and cultural histories. One such example is that globally, we all correlate facial expressions with the emotions that incite them.
Recommended Reading: What Is Bond Order In Chemistry
Is Psychology Part Of The Humanities Or Stem
The humanities and social sciences are concerned with human aspects such as politics, law, linguistics, economics, and psychology. One of the main differences between the two is that the humanities take a more critical and analytical approach while the social sciences take a more scientific approach.
Is Psychology A Good Major For Med School
DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY National statistics show that students who major in psychology are as likely to be admitted to medical school as those who major in biology or chemistry. Psychology is particularly valuable for those premedical students interested in neurology, psychiatry, pediatrics, or behavioral medicine…. see details
You May Like: What Is Per In Math
Why Is Psychology Believed To Be Not A Science
We have seen that psychology uses the same methods and has both the same validity and reliability as the rest of the sciences. But then why are there so many doubts about whether psychology is a science or not? Below we are going to examine three reasons that I think are the main reasons for this to happen.
The first of these is the great confusion that exists about the concept of science. Most of the population has a very loose definition in mind. This, together with the lack of knowledge of the instruments used to measure behavior and mental processes, leads to a categorization of psychology as subjective and unscientific.
The second reason is the pseudoscientific practices derived from psychology. Unfortunately, around this discipline are many people who use the term psychology to refer to practices that do not use the scientific method.
This causes the bulk of the population to mistakenly relate pseudoscience to psychology, although in reality they have nothing to do with it. Examples are practices such as coaching, NLP or some parts of psychoanalysis.
And finally, one reason to explain the resistance that exists when it comes to assuming the evidence of psychology is that it may be because it directly involves the human being. In physics, chemistry or other sciences, the results hardly bother people and they are accepted without problems.
Is Psychology A Science
Although many people who studied psychology may work in jobs that perhaps do not, on the surface, seem scientific, the practice and education of psychology is guided by research findings that are firmly grounded in the scientific method. There are some disciplines within psychology that are even more aligned with the natural sciences, such as neuropsychology, which is the study of the brains influence on behavior. Psychology is commonly recognized as a social science, and is included on the National Science Foundations roster of recognized STEM disciplines.
Read Also: What Is Location In Geography
What Are Stem Subjects
As mentioned, STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics, but a far wider range of academic disciplines fall under this description. Heres a list of some of the other STEM courses you could study:
The full is list is far more exhaustive, but this gives you an idea of the range of subjects included under STEM.
In terms of career paths, some of these subjects will offer a quite straightforward progression to particular careers. Aerospace engineering, for example, is likely to lead into a graduate job working for one of the worlds major aircraft designers, such as Rolls Royce.
Not every STEM-related graduate job is this obvious though. For example, a STEM degree could lead to a career working on special effects in Hollywood, helping to design new sportswear, or revolutionizing the farming industry. This is in addition to roles in areas such as finance and accountancy, construction, telecoms, and the energy sector.
Can You Get A Degree In Cognitive Science
Since cognitive science is interdisciplinary, degrees in any constitutive science or discipline can be considered a degree in cognitive science. At the undergraduate and undergraduate level, students generally have access to several of these constituent subjects, but not many cognitive science courses.
You May Like: How To Solve Subscripts In Math
How Teachers Can Use Psychology In Stem
Many teachers themselves have trouble teaching STEM subjects to students. They may not fully understand what their students are struggling with, or have trouble inspiring students to be interested in these subjects.
Understanding the psychology behind their students struggles can help teachers adapt their approaches to STEM learning and help their classes become more successful. Teachers will be better able to relate to students and think up creative methods for addressing their unique challenges in STEM.
Unscientific Mental Health Training
Some observers perceive a gap between scientific theory and its applicationin particular, the application of unsupported or unsound clinical practices. Critics say there has been an increase in the number of mental health training programs that do not instill scientific competence. Practices such as “facilitated communication for infantile autism” memory-recovery techniques including body work and other therapies, such as rebirthing and reparenting, may be dubious or even dangerous, despite their popularity. These practices, however, are outside the mainstream practices taught in clinical psychology doctoral programs.
The Role Of Counselling
Counselling can help students gain the confidence they need to tackle these subjects with the knowledge that they will make mistakesand thats okay. Psychology can also help counsellors better understand what is holding students back and work with educators to address those issues.
In addition to issues that relate directly to their STEM education, students personal and emotional struggles can also have an impact on their learning. Its important to have the resources and support available from a sympathetic third party to help students work through all of the problems in their lives so they can be more successful in school and happier at home.
Is Psychology Stem Heres What You Should Know
Most people view psychology simply as the study of human behavior. They envision someone laying on a couch discussing their woes with a trained counselor and attempting to gain victory in their life.
This is a basic view of what psychology truly encompasses. Furthermore, it eliminates the scientific and STEM portion of the discipline itself. So, is psychology a STEM major?
Don’t Miss: How To Impress Your Physics Teacher
What Makes Psychology A Science
Regardless of how you view psychology, its either going to be placed into the social sciences or science category. To support psychology as a science, we turn to the idea of empirical evidence. Empirical evidence is able to be supported and verified by way of observation and experience, as opposed to simply relying on logic or theory.
Through empirical evidence, psychologists can understand human behavior because of observation. Since the mind cannot be directly observed, it is through actions that psychologists are able to better grasp what may be happening in the mind.
Going deeper, psychology leverages the following:
- Reasoning: Psychologists rely on scientific reasoning to interpret and design psychological research and interpret phenomena.
- Discipline: At the core of psychology sits the scientific method. Psychologists conduct studies and contribute to research based on verifiable evidence.
- Research: Like traditional science, psychologists make use of quantitative and qualitative research methods that are necessary for performing analysis and drawing conclusions.
- Application: To practice psychology in a practical setting, students must complete further education beyond a bachelors degree. In most instances, a psychologist will need to obtain a PhD. This advanced education will consist of research skills and robust knowledge and application of the scientific method.
Why Do Some People Believe That Psychology Isnt A Science
Weve seen that psychology uses the same methods and that it has the same validity and reliability as other sciences. But why do so many people doubt whether its a science or not? Next, well examine three of the main reasons why this happens.
First of all, the concept of science still confuses a lot of people. Most of the population has a very poor definition in mind. This, along with peoples ignorance regarding the instruments used to measure behavior and mental processes, lead people to classify psychology as subjective and unscientific.
The second reason is the pseudoscientific practices that derive from psychology. Unfortunately, many people use the term psychology to refer to practices that dont use the scientific method. Consequently, a large part of the population wrongly relates pseudoscience to psychology. However, in reality, they have nothing to do with each other.
Finally, psychology studies human beings. In physics, chemistry, or other sciences, the results barely involve people and theyre accepted without any resistance. However, studying human beings is different. If the results go against our intuitive beliefs, we quickly try to solve this cognitive conflict. Its easier to ignore the evidence presented than to restructure our beliefs about it.
Science Technology Engineering And Mathematics
Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics is a broad term used to group together these academic disciplines. This term is typically used to address an education policy or curriculum choices in schools. It has implications for workforce development, national security concerns and immigration policy.
There is no universal agreement on which disciplines are included in STEM in particular whether or not the science in STEM includes social sciences, such as psychology, sociology, economics, and political science. In the United States, these are typically included by organizations such as the National Science Foundation, The National Science Foundation deals with all matters concerning science and new discoveries in science as it affects development, research, and innovations. the Department of Labor‘s O*Net online database for job seekers, and the Department of Homeland Security. In the United Kingdom, the social sciences are categorized separately and are instead grouped together with humanities and arts to form another counterpart acronymHASS , rebranded in 2020 as SHAPE .
What Fields Are Included In Stem
Here are some examples of some of what are considered STEM fields:
- Science: Biotechnology, Medicine, Nursing, Genetics, Chemistry or Physics among others.
- Technology: Informatics, Telecommunications, Robotics, Software, etc.
- Engineering: Naval Engineering, Public Works, Electronics, Architecture
- Mathematics: Mathematics, Statistics, Economics, Systems Analysis, Physics
Read Also: How To Find Percentage Error In Physics
Why Should Psychology Be Considered A Science
Psychology is a science because it follows the empirical method. The scientific status of any endeavor is determined by its method of investigation, not what it studies, or when the research was done, and certainly not by who did the investigation. All sciences use the empirical method…. see more
Research Methods In Psychology
Psychology also utilizes a wider array of qualitative methods than some traditional sciences.
Although qualitative research provides a different route to understanding than traditional quantitative methods, I feel that is also scientific, just grounded in different philosophical underpinnings,” said Dominello.
Research methods can be categorized as either quantitative or qualitative. Quantitative research results in numerical data that can be analyzed. Qualitative research employs methods like questionnaires, interviews and observations. Qualitative research can be analyzed by grouping responses into broad themes. This melding of quantitative and qualitative methods is essential to understand the human factor inherent in psychology.
Psychology as a science embraces this broader exploratory perspective in order to better understand human phenomena. When merged, qualitative data can breathe life into quantitative data, Dominello said.
Psychology is unique in that it adds breadth and depth of knowledge in conjunction with so many other disciplines, because we are all curious about understanding human behavior to some extent, whether its ones own behavior or the behavior of others, said Hill.
You May Like: What Is Homeostasis In Psychology
What Is A Science
A science is a branch of knowledge that seeks to describe, explain, anticipate and modify some domain of reality. In the case of psychology, it is about human behavior and cognitive processes.
Science has a pragmatic objective, it seeks to understand certain events in order to use them to its advantage. To do all this, it uses its own methodology called the scientific method.
The scientific method is a hypothetical-deductive strategy to draw conclusions and certainties about the objective of the study. This consists of a series of steps that I explain below:
How Is Stem Classified
The National Center for Education Statistics classifies it as such:
âA general program that focuses on the scientific study of individual and collective behavior, the physical and environmental bases of behavior, and the analysis and treatment of behavior problems and disorders. Includes instruction in the principles of the various subfields of psychology, research methods, and psychological assessment and testing methods.â
While this certainly reflects the discipline of psychology, individuals are left wondering how it focuses directly on the analysis and eventual treatment of behavioral issues.
For a full list of STEM statistics, please check out our article on surprising STEM Education statistics.
The NCES definition regarding the area of Research and Experimental Psychology provides the following subareas of study:
An Education In Psychology Has Incredible Benefits
No matter what field a person ends up joining, having a psychology education helps them to understand and interact with the world around them. Its a popular field for a reason: we all want to understand each other better. Learning about psychology also helps people to develop key critical thinking skills and creativity. We need people with this type of knowledge and related skills in schools to help students succeed in their future careers. Although its certainly possible to get a STEM education without psychology, being able to relate to others is an important skill that helps to make our world better.
The Power Of Psychology In Students Stem Learning
Currently, only 23 of our 50 states require school counsellors to be available for students from K-12. Lacking these resources, many students do not get the help they need to succeed in STEM subjects. Often, students struggle with STEM because they have been influenced by harmful stereotypes about which kinds of students are best at these subjects or because they lose confidence.
Others have trouble with the typical teaching methods that are used to educate students on STEM subjects. Not everyone has a brain that adapts naturally to mathematics and engineering. These students need to know that its okay if they need more time to grasp the material than their classmates or try different methods of learning. Even if a student isnt planning to pursue a career in STEM, its important that all students have a solid understanding of the basics.
Read Also: How To Calculate Tension In Physics